Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council Minutes – March 2022

DRAFT Dunkeld & Birnam Community Council Ordinary Meeting – 14th March 2022 – 7pm – by Zoom

Minutes

Attendance:

CC members: Lachlan MacEwan, Alan Wylie, Stewart Pritchard, Andrew Cave, Laura Graham, Caroline Robinson, Chris Claydon

PKC Councillors: Ian James, Anne Jarvis, Grant Laing

Guests: David Littlejohn (PKC)

Alistair Smith (Heartland FM)

Nathaniel Goddard (Heartland FM)

Members of the public: 13

Apologies: 

Calum Martin, Community Policing Team

Minutes of the last meeting 

January minutes – approved 

February minutes – approved 

Declaration of interest – none

Treasurer’s report

Operating A/C balance: £557.88 ~ two transactions last month (zoom & PKC CC public liability insurance) 

Grants A/C balance: £8260.96 ~ one transaction ~ Dunkeld in Bloom

Funds available for grant awards: 

Micro grants: £100 (pending annual top up back to £4,500)

SSE covid recovery: £5,740 

Online banking update, mandate to be agreed.

We agree to the following mandate:

We resolve that:

  • if we add or remove Authorised Signatures in the “Add or remove individuals” section of this form, the Bank will update our mandate accordingly for the accounts we specify in this form’s “About your business” section
  • if we change the Signing Rules in the “Account Signing Rules” section of this form, the Bank will update our mandate accordingly for the accounts we specify in this form’s “About your business” section
  • the Bank can phone the individuals we’ve identified as “Call Back Contacts” to confirm or correct any instructions or information that we’ve given the Bank
  • and the current mandate will continue as amended

Lachlan and Chris to be new signatories along with Stewart.

David Littlejohn

David would like to eventually meet the CC in person but very happy to be at this meeting and happy to answer any questions.

David explained that he is responsible for all aspects of planning, policy planning and building standards which includes transport planning, housing policy and housing investment plan.

He is also responsible for economic development.

The Community council put the following questions to David:

  • Will Perth & Kinross Council consult with local communities on establishing planning control areas as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Short-term Let Control Areas) (Scotland) Regulations 2021? 
  • What action can PKC take to increase the availability of affordable housing in rural areas?
  • Can you talk about the Rural Housing Fund, what was allocated last year and to what projects, and how might this be useful to the DBCC area? 
  • How can the CC engage more successfully with PKC and have their opinions better heard?

David spoke at length about the impact of short-term lets and what can be done, particularly with a view to increasing affordable housing locally.

The Scottish Government have been working for a long time on legislation for planning control around short-term lets. They are waiting for that legislation to come to fruition with guidance for operators and hosts being finalised.

On one level nothing has changed, all short-term lets require planning permission and everyone that runs a short-term let has perhaps not applied. However, not every let requires a licence which has created a grey area. The new planning control will require every single short-term let to have planning consent and every property will require to be licensed ~ no planning ~ no licence. 

Planning control areas:

There are no planning control areas currently, but Edinburgh is due to become a control area shortly.

COSLA are planning to meet with Air B&B who have offered to help the government and inform them where the short-term lets are.

David said that the council are currently looking Highland Perthshire, he is unsure as to whether the whole area requires this type of designation, they will have a better picture after 2024 when licensing comes into effect.

PKC are doing their best to evaluate, and they would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with the CC to work out an evidence base.

A member of the public asked whether existing planning allows for the use of local occupancy clauses which prevent properties being sold or rented as short-term lets, David said that the clauses were not legal in Scotland and were no longer included in planning law. 

Stewart asked whether PKC, when evidence gathering, will differentiate between 2nd homes and short term lets and consider any possible consequences that might follow empty properties, David said that it was always going to be a balance which is why consultation would be done, he also added that the research would not pick up 2nd homes.

Rural Housing:

David said that Rural Housing is all about increasing supply. 

The Community Housing trust are working with PKC just now. To date, the only completed application is the Watermill Park at Blair Atholl, a couple of others have been approved but are only at the feasibility stage.

Caroline expressed concerns about people that work locally but are unable to stay here, leaving jobs and services unstaffed as there’s not much in the way of developments or affordable housing.

David agreed that it wasn’t ideal but that PKC can’t provide the sites. 

Planning Decisions & Enforcement:

Chris explained to David the frustration she feels about some planning decisions made by PKC which do not follow the guidance from the Dunkeld Conservation Area Appraisal, the Local Development Plan and the Placemaking Guide.

She also said that the CC have, at times, been disappointed that PKC do not seem to take into consideration the concerns or recommendations put forward by the CC who have a key role to play in providing an informed local context.

David reassured the CC that their submissions are not a waste of time as they can bring a more rounded view, the CC are a Statutory Consultee, and they always have the right to make a representation whether in favour or against.

There was some discussion around enforcement of breaches of planning, David said that most people follow guidelines but that around 20% do not. Enforcement is not a statutory function and PKC do not always have the staff or resources to enforce but added but that most enforcement actions do get carried through.

PKC are about to embark on new Conservation Area Appraisal and would hope to do that in collaboration with the Community.

Lachlan wanted to know whether the CC have any meaningful input on applications outwith our area.

David answered that yes, they absolutely can and that it’s not uncommon for CCs to group together to make representations but it’s important to ensure that you are representing the views of your community.

A member of the public added that conservation area policies are not just bricks and mortar but can also be the conservation of community.

Lachlan thanked David for coming, David very happy to come back and speak again.

PH8 Community Action Plan Update

Caroline spoke about the launch of the CAP on the 5th of March which was very well attended with plenty of CC members and with guest speaker Lucy Espeland from Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS)

The main message was that this is the start, not the end.

Everyone was invited to get involved and lists were available for people to sign up in areas that were of particular interest to them.

Chris added that the celebration CAP Launch cake provided by Flora was delicious!

Community Development Trust

Feedback from event ~ there was a sign-up sheet for those interested in becoming more involved. A meeting is to be held on 30th of March, specifically for those that want to go forward.

A member of the public wanted to establish who and what the meeting on the 30th was for, whether it was open to the public and how it could be properly advertised at such short notice.

They also suggested that it should be widely publicised in The Bridge and there were concerns by both members of the public and CC members that this meeting had not been given adequate exposure.

Caroline happy to raise this at the next PH8 meeting on Wednesday evening.

Lachlan is keen to ensure that if going ahead with the Development Trust (DT) we don’t just scrape the surface but that we take the whole community along with us. He felt that some people are not nearly well informed enough and that there are still many questions to be answered.

Grant said that he isn’t sure what the questions are and he, himself, could only see the benefits of a DT.

Lachlan said that he wasn’t against a DT but we must bring everybody with us.  He felt that there were many locals that would be able to bring a great deal to the DT but that some folk like to be asked and aren’t the type to “stick their heads above the parapet”.

Stewart thought the CAP launch was an amazing success and is conscious that many of us here are interested in taking the DT forward. He would be interested to know how the CC and DT work together.

Anne said that Development Trusts and Community Councils work well together ~ closely but independently.

It was felt it would be a good idea to speak to communities that already have a DT up and running.

Action: 

Caroline and Lachlan to raise the around the timing of the meeting scheduled for the 30th of March at the PH8 meeting on Wednesday evening.

Roads & Parking Update

Andy spoke about the recent walk around meeting that was organised with PKC and how everyone felt it was really useful.

The PKC representative was extremely knowledgeable and told us that there had been a lot of consultation with different people over the years.

There was great turnout of local people from different groups and it was extremely useful to have their input and hear different outlooks.

Key priorities that all were agreed on seem to be:

  • Dealing with the ongoing parking issues and a need for ½ hour bays on the West side of Atholl Street 
  • 20mph across the villages
  • Extending 40mph buffer zones 

PKC would like us to rank our priorities. Andy does feel there is an emerging consensus but that there is more work required to come up with a solution for bigger projects, like the bridge, with consultation required on options.

PKC has a ranking list of jobs and projects that are on the radar for the council in a particular area which could be useful for the roads groups ~ Grant will ensure that it gets sent out to us.

A member of the public, involved with the roads group, will write up a wee report of the meeting, noting the issues raised to ensure they are captured and highlight those that could be agreed.

There was further discussion around the High St, Brae St and Atholl St junction and a proposal which had apparently been flagged up at a PKC meeting that day.

No-one was aware that that PKC were waiting for support for that development.

Chris was waiting for the plans from PKC ~ Grant will chase those up.

Caroline expressed concerns around increasing double yellow lines and felt that this may further exacerbate the parking problem.

Resident’s parking was discussed, Grant happy to take that forward with PKC.

Laura told us that Resident’s permits were available to buy at a cost of £120 per year for the North End car park but that a space was not guaranteed by PKC.

Good news snippet ~ speed monitoring system in place!

Calum happy to take on roads lead now that Andy leaving DBCC.

Action:

Grant to forward PKC ranking list and plans for development at junction to CC and to take forward the suggestion of resident’s parking with PKC.

Stell Park ~ Lack of maintenance by PKC

A local resident was in touch with the CC to express their concerns around the lack of maintenance along the large right hand side banking as you enter Stell Park.

PKC used to maintain the banking and still maintain the left hand side banking. It has become a terrible eyesore and a dumping ground for rubbish.

Stewart wondered if perhaps it was one of the PKC’s Managed for Wildlife Spaces and a member of the public suggested that if it were designated as one this might be a good result all round. 

Action:

  • Lachlan to follow up with Paul Gardner at PKC
  • Chris to keep in touch with resident

Griffin Forest & Cardney Estate Consultation

Griffin forest long term plan

Action:

  • Stewart to get in touch with some questions, will feed back to the CC

Cardney Estate

Stewart ~ Cardney generally seem to be doing the right thing and managing the deer correctly, the estate is a special protection area for birds, and Cardney have already had a statutory consultation. 

Any new fencing misses all core paths.

Planning

Atholl Estates Cally Lodges application

Chris ~ would prefer to see housing for local families and wondered whether a needs assessment for holiday accommodation had been done.

Andy ~ thinks it may take the pressure of the current housing situation.

Stewart ~ Conifer plantation so not much of an impact environmentally.

Andy ~ road might be improved

Caroline ~ that is the plan

Action: 

  • CC to take a bit more time to consider the application, (closing date for public comments 28th March), and will ask for an extension if need be.

Planning application for old stable block at Inver

A local resident attended the meeting to express concerns about the application, deadline for public comments is the 25th of March.

Development ~ change of use for old stables that are attached to the B Listed Inn with proposals to convert into large 4 bedroom property.

Concerns:

  • Very large house in a small community which would dominate the small village
  • Loss of amenity ~ current tenant will lose some of their garden space and will be required to share some of their current space
  • Impact on B listed historically important Inn
  • Old cobbles and other features may be destroyed
  • Pond will be destroyed with a loss of habit for protected species

Chris disappointed that Atholl Estates didn’t speak to the CC, and that they didn’t consider selling the building to the community, as was discussed with Atholl Estates at the CC meeting in January that they attended. She felt we should request an extension to consider the proposal.

Lachlan concerned that current tenant’s garden being taken away and used for this new development.

Action: 

  • Chris to request an extension
  • Chris will share planning application on FB

Police Update

None ~ Chris continuing to send out commander’s Bulletin in the meantime

AOB

A member of the public wondered how we could achieve affordable housing developments given the control of the land by the big landowners. They felt we should be putting a lot more pressure on the landowners

Another member of the public felt that some of the local landowners had been generous over the years and that several plots and areas of ground had been used for community developments such as Bruce Gardens and the Community Orchard.

Alistair ~ Heartland FM 30th birthday celebrations week beginning 21st March ~ community broadcast in window 24th 25th of March.

Alistair very keen for community groups to take part and promote themselves.

Nathaniel keen for sports groups to get in touch with his new Saturday Sports Show.

Chris asked if Heartland could send something over that could be posted on the DBCC facebook page.

Alistair requested some community group suggestions from the CC

Action:

  • Chris to forward some details

The Bridge webpage

Action: 

  • Chris will send out an email to the CC to discuss our options for the CC webpage on The Bridge website.

Andy Cave’s last CC meeting

The CC thanked Andy for all of his hard work and wished him well for the future.

End of Community Council meeting ~ next meeting 11th April 2022

Griffin grants 

Chris updated the CC by email, prior to the meeting, on all grants received.

Micro grants

  • Santa Day ~ approved as COVID recovery grant
Scroll to Top